(from the Greek prefix makro-
meaning "large" and economics) is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole. This includes national, regional, and global economies. Macroeconomics and microeconomics
, a pair of terms coined by Ragnar Frisch, are the two most general fields in economics. In contrast to macroeconomics, microeconomics is the branch of economics that studies the behavior of individuals and firms in making decisions and the interactions among these individuals and firms in narrowly-defined markets.
study aggregated indicators such as GDP, unemployment rates, national income, price indices, and the interrelations among the different sectors of the economy to better understand how the whole economy functions. Macroeconomists develop models that explain the relationship between such factors as national income, output, consumption, unemployment, inflation
, savings, investment, international trade
and international finance
While macroeconomics is a broad field of study, there are two areas of research that are emblematic of the discipline: the attempt to understand the causes and consequences of short-run
fluctuations in national income (the business cycle), and the attempt to understand the determinants of long-run economic growth
(increases in national income). Macroeconomic models and their forecasts are used by governments to assist in the development and evaluation of economic policy.